Vedanta Alumina Limited (VAL), on Wednesday, shut down its alumina refinery at Lanjigarh in Odisha’s Kalahandi district, and stopped feeding bauxites and started washing its tanks.

“We have already started the process of shutting down alumina plant from the morning. By evening, the one million tonne per annum alumina refinery would completely come to standstill,” Mukesh Kumar, CEO of VAL, told this correspondent over phone.

VAL, on Tuesday, said despite all efforts over the past three months to ensure sustainable supplies of bauxite for the Lanjigarh refinery, the company was not able to find any solution.

Although the company had assured that it would not retrench its employees now, about 7,000 people engaged directly and indirectly in the refinery were preparing to face an uncertain future.

Smelter plant

VAL sources said closure of the refinery would lead to shutting down of the group’s smelter plant in Jharsuguda district that relies on alumina, raw material of aluminium, from the Lanjigarh unit. The smelter is at present operating on alumina stock.

The Vedanta Group had spent Rs.5,000 crore for setting up the alumina refinery at Lanjigarh, and proposed to invest a further Rs.4,000 crore on expansion, which, however, could not materialise on account of alleged violation of green laws.

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